The Center for Wooden Boats

Center for Wooden Boats which includes a marina, boating and a bay or harbor

The Center for Wooden Boats

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Learn time-honored crafts and sail in old-fashioned vessels at this interactive museum, which celebrates the local boating legacy.

Enjoy hands-on activities at the Center for Wooden Boats, a lakeside museum that gives visitors the chance to ride and shape traditional dinghies, canoes and rowing boats. The center is run by passionate locals who wish to share their love of boating and the craftsmanship of boat makers. Join workshops that demonstrate the artistry of boatbuilding and paddle out onto the waters of Lake Union.

The center was born out of one couple’s love of old boats. In the late 1960s, Dick and Colleen Wagner owned a large collection of traditional craft, which they started to rent out. As these rentals grew in popularity, their collection became a museum, which eventually became the Center for Wooden Boats. Find out more about the center’s aim to preserve tradition and educate new generations.

Engage with the history of boatbuilding in one of the center’s rotating exhibits. Discover the role that the Pacific Northwest had played in the craft, get insights into engineering and glimpse into the future of sailing.

Head out onto the lake to experience these boats in action. The museum has a fleet of traditional vessels available to rent. Join a group of up to six people on a gentle pedal boat journey or find a partner to paddle in a classically designed canoe. The center offers lessons in sailing and kayaking for all ages.

Attend a workshop with the artisans who work at the center. Families can take part in activities like building toy boats or book into weekend-long courses where participants build their own vessel. Adult workshops range from holistic week-long programs to shorter courses that focus on specific skills like woodworking with hand tools.

The Center for Wooden Boats lies on the southern shores of Lake Union, just around the corner from the Museum of History and Industry. The South Lake Union streetcar line stops just outside the center, where you can also find limited parking. The Westlake Ave. & Mercer St. bus stop is under 5 minutes’ away. The center is open daily in summer; it’s closed on Mondays in spring and winter, and on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Admission is free, although rentals and workshops come with a fee.

Top Hotels Close to The Center for Wooden Boats

Warwick Seattle
Warwick Seattle
3.5 out of 5
401 Lenora St, Seattle, WA, 98121
The price is $129 per night from May 22 to May 23
Stay at this 3.5-star business-friendly hotel in Seattle. Enjoy free WiFi, breakfast, and 24-hour room service. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the clean ...
3.7/5 Good! (1,401 reviews)
"The staff are very nice. The property is old. Also the swimming pool and the hut tub it’s warm but not working with water pressure."

Reviewed on May 15, 2022

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Hyatt Regency Seattle
Hyatt Regency Seattle
4 out of 5
808 Howell St, Seattle, WA, 98101
The price is $204 per night from May 27 to May 28
Stay at this 4-star business-friendly hotel in Seattle. Enjoy free WiFi, 2 restaurants, and breakfast. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the clean rooms ...
4.7/5 Exceptional! (3,396 reviews)
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Reviewed on May 17, 2022

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Mediterranean Inn
Mediterranean Inn
3 out of 5
425 Queen Anne Ave N, Seattle, WA, 98109
The price is $154 per night from May 24 to May 25
Stay at this 3-star business-friendly hotel in Seattle. Enjoy free WiFi, a rooftop terrace, and a 24-hour fitness center. Our guests praise the helpful staff ...
4.6/5 Wonderful! (2,745 reviews)
"The workers were very friendly and helpful. They stored our luggage while we went to the Pier."

Reviewed on May 16, 2022

Mediterranean Inn
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Plan a trip to see The Center for Wooden Boats

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Best Lodging Options Near The Center for Wooden Boats

Warwick Seattle
Warwick Seattle
3.5 out of 5
401 Lenora St, Seattle, WA, 98121
The price is $129 per night from May 22 to May 23
Warwick Seattle
Hyatt Regency Seattle
Hyatt Regency Seattle
4 out of 5
808 Howell St, Seattle, WA, 98101
The price is $204 per night from May 27 to May 28
Hyatt Regency Seattle
Mediterranean Inn
Mediterranean Inn
3 out of 5
425 Queen Anne Ave N, Seattle, WA, 98109
The price is $154 per night from May 24 to May 25
Mediterranean Inn
Sheraton Grand Seattle
Sheraton Grand Seattle
4 out of 5
1400 6th Ave, Seattle, WA, 98101
The price is $179 per night from May 29 to May 30
Sheraton Grand Seattle
Renaissance Seattle Hotel
Renaissance Seattle Hotel
4.5 out of 5
515 Madison Street, Seattle, WA, 98104
The price is $179 per night from May 29 to May 30
Renaissance Seattle Hotel
The Paramount Hotel
The Paramount Hotel
3.5 out of 5
724 Pine St, Seattle, WA, 98101
The price is $169 per night from May 30 to May 31
The Paramount Hotel
Hyatt At Olive 8
Hyatt At Olive 8
4 out of 5
1635 8th Ave, Seattle, WA, 98101
The price is $206 per night from May 29 to May 30
Hyatt At Olive 8
Executive Hotel Pacific
Executive Hotel Pacific
3 out of 5
400 Spring St, Seattle, WA, 98104
The price is $129 per night from May 30 to May 31
Executive Hotel Pacific
The Belltown Inn
The Belltown Inn
2.5 out of 5
2301 Third Avenue, Seattle, WA, 98121
The price is $129 per night from May 22 to May 23
The Belltown Inn
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.